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February 15, 2016

Medical Costs in Wisconsin Among the Highest in the Country

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

A recent article from the Badger Herald discussed the exceptionally high medical costs in Wisconsin for injured workers. Senate Bill 536, which the Wisconsin State Assembly passed last Tuesday, did not address rising work-related medical costs. “While I take issue with some of these proposals,” said Aaron Reilly, author of the Badger Herald article, “I am more stunned no effort was made to address the rising medical costs. Frankly, these proposals address nothing.”

A price index compiled by The Worker’s Compensation Research Institute showed worker’s compensation payments from 2002 to 2013 among the 25 states that pay the most compensation. “What was found is Wisconsin paid by far the most on average for medical costs related to workers’ comp at the end of 2013,” said Reilly. “…Of the states that give out the most money, Wisconsin does it the most inefficiently.”

A bill introduced two years ago that included firm restrictions on how much workers’ comp insurance could pay therapists and doctors did not pass due to a strong argument from medical providers. “The actual reasons for high medical costs are the rate and severity of worker injuries,” the Badger Herald article said.
“Incidence and severity do not negate insufficiencies within the system,” the article continued. “By not even attempting to alleviate these problems, Wisconsin has taken the attitude that they do not exist, contrary to physical evidence.”

It will be interesting to see how these issues within the system play out and what sort of other backlash will arise to the bill that passed this week.
If you have been injured in the workplace, or have questions about your rights under workers’ compensation law, please contact us today.


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